Letting Go of Facebook

Deleting Facebook and Other Social Media Accounts

No More facebook For MeFacebook Sucks! It sucks up my time, it sucks up my energy and it sucks up my personal information and sells it to the highest bidder. I have to leave it just to protect my privacy, recover my zest for life and give me better control of what life I have left.

What’s ironic about this post is that I don’t like dramatic exit posts. I’ve been a moderator or administrator of forums and message boards for over 20 years, so I’ve seen quite a few of these I’m-outa-here-SUCKER messages. They are usually intended to ridicule the site owners or staff, or complain about how poorly they’ve been treated and make a daytime soap, dramatic episode out of it. My general reaction, as a mod/admin, to threads like that is to just delete them. I’m hoping this post won’t be seen in a similar light by my friends, but if you do, please stop reading now, or at any time before you reach the end.

My facebook cover photo

The last thing I want to do is make this dramatic. That’s because for the last couple of years, I have participated in far too much drama on facebook already. Some of it I’ve created myself by making snarky replies to other people’s posts. I get all worked up over actual fake news and malicious memes and rampant prejudice and online bullies. My blood pressure rises after spending an hour or more trying to make a beautiful photo to share, then the software facebook uses compresses the file size of the photo, which causes over-sharpening to be applied and sometimes distorts the color. Then there’s the guilt I feel when I don’t have any new photos to share, or can’t come up with an appropriate response to someone who has shared something joyful or sad.

Oddly enough, I am quite socially clumsy – in real life, that is. I’ve always avoided crowded gatherings where I am expected to be a conversationalist. I took a public speaking class once to help me get over my unease, but dropped out in less than a week. There was that time I decided to change careers and went to cosmetology school – you know how much a hair dresser/manicurist talks – and dropped out after about a month. Even the photography class I took and enjoyed learning so much from, I dropped out of before the end of the semester because we were expected to stand in front of the class and give presentations of our photos. I was lucky that my life long career was in flooring, where the classes were short and sporadic and I usually only had one or two people to discuss a new job with.

Are We Friends, or Just Facebook Friends?

I have over 1,400 facebook friends; what about them? I’m grateful to them all (YOU all), but truthfully, most of them I don’t know much about, except that they liked my photos enough to comment on them and sometimes shared them with their friends. A handful are members of my flooring forum, TheFloorPro.com/community/ or are a fellow member of one of the other forums I participate on because of a shared interest in photography, Jeep KJs, or website design, coding and administration. Ninety-five percent of them I sent a friend request to and they accepted. I’ve received a few friend requests, but the great majority of friend requests I’ve received are from people like you see below. Yeah, as if an old guy who sucks air through a hose in his nose has something going on that attracts an inordinate number of would-be friends who look like them. Not that I don’t have real friends that are very attractive and interesting, but c’mon… behind those “friend requests” are scammers who prey on the gullibility of others and hope that their privacy settings allow them to harvest even more “friends” who will be lured into clicking some malicious link that will steal your money, information or harm your computer. I know because when I visit their FB pages to investigate, I see that a smattering of my (usually male) friends are their friends. I wanna ask them, are you delusional?

If you really are a friend, we will continue to be friends. Even those who live in other parts of the world. We’ll still be able to hang out together on the forums we participate on, or I’ll subscribe to your website or blog, maybe you’ll subscribe to mine. And there are those friends who live where I live, or we travel to visit each other. I will still run into some of my old flooring customers while shopping, or I will find myself in your place of business, or you’ll pull me over for exhibition of speed on my Segway, or you will just call me to chat or text on the phone occasionally. We will stay connected somehow and I hope you will always forgive me for my awkwardness.

It is pretty much guaranteed that I will piss fewer people off for telling them they are wrong about some stupid meme they shared. I won’t tell you to search for the truth and I certainly won’t link you to a fact site that you claim is biased, but won’t admit that it’s only because it proves you were wrong. You won’t have to deride me because you think I am either too liberal or too conservative (I attack lies, no matter what side they come from). But the best part is my stress levels will be greatly reduced. Not participating on facebook will probably extend my life, or at least improve my attitude about it. I know I will miss it at first. After all, it is an addiction of sorts and the withdrawals may last a little while. I will be freer and healthier for kicking that bad habit though.

Please do visit this site occasionally. This is my personal blog. If the only reason you like me is my photos, that’s okay too. I will try to post more of those here too, but my main photo site is still JimMcClainPhotos.com. If you would like to subscribe to my blog and get an email notification every time I post a new article, here’s a quick & easy way to do it:

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25 thoughts on “Letting Go of Facebook”

  1. Damn Jim, sorry to see you leaving FB… I’ll be sticking around here because it’s one of my local marketing outlets… But I do promise that I’ll check in at The Floor Pro Forum when I need to.
    I’ve had limited access there since my laptop went down a couple years back… But I can tell you that it is probably one pic the most beneficial forums I’ve ever been a part of.
    I’ll see your around, and I’ll keep an eye out for some lunch boxes for ya… Thanks again for allowing me to be a member of your forum.

  2. I know I don’t know you well but I have seen you in Quincy for years, since I have lived in Indian Valley my entire life. I will say enjoyed all the beauty you post in your pictures. I will miss seeing you on here. But u get what you are saying and have thought of no more FB because of the negativity and time that is spent on here. But I do love staying in touch with people. Good Luck to you!!!

  3. Hi Jim,

    I enjoyed your FB exit message! Probably a little bit vicariously since I would do that too if I thought I could still keep in touch with family and friends without it. I’m certainly less social than yourself, don’t care to setup or maintain a blog site, etc. but I do enjoy your perspective and candid comments, and of course, we share a love of photography and expression of ourselves despite the pressure to conform to social norms. I’m not that good at chasing around sites on the internet but did make it a priority to save this site and your photography site links as favorites in Safari so that I had some chance at visiting and sharing with you on your sites. I truly do enjoy your wit, the point of view of your ‘sarcasm’ and the inherent sense of values within your comments. Good luck and I’m sure you’ll keep enough social contact through your sites and certainly your face to face personal life to keep you engaged and happy on that 1 foot that is still out of the grave!

    Maybe I can drop one of my photos on one of these sites just to share once in a while, but I don’t really know if the sites support that… There’s always email too!? I’m not a professional of course and could care less how people use my photos since I only enjoy taking them and sharing them…

    Feel free to contact me through email or text anytime. You should still have my contact info…

    Take care!!

    Dan W.

    1. Thanks Dan. I thought about quitting FB many times over the years, but the thought was fleeting. I mulled this decision over for quite a while before I committed to it. I’m hoping my vanity will prevent any lingering regret. 😉 I wouldn’t want to appear wishy-washy.

  4. If this gets me signed up to receive notices of future blog posts?…then I have been successful. I feel your pain @ Facebook….it can definitely SUCK up time. I find myself flipping and not reading most posts because there are many duplicate shares of too much CRAP! I like it when someone shares their own personal posts and pictures. What happened to the good ol’ days? Anyways, I hope I get notices of your future posts because I am interested. You write well, I like your “real-ness” and your talent and eye with your photography. Thanks for informing about dropping out of Facebook….I was wondering how you were doing since I hadn’t seen much on there.

  5. Susan Sessions

    I totally understand your reasons for leaving fb! I share many of your sentiments with regard to “mining” my acct for personal info and political posts. I can’t stand the bullying that takes place on social media just because someone does not share your viewpoint. Wishing you the very best, Jim. And I love your photos!

  6. Sorry to hear that. I really enjoy your pictures you post, thanks for the beautiful views. I am like you really, only have a couple close friends and stay to myself.

  7. Terri Metcalf (McRoberts)

    Hi Jim…I’m one of those people you don’t know but I love your photos. I would like to stay in touch somehow because I grew up on Chandler Rd…Although we moved to Alaska in 1969 I return to Taylorsville yearly if not more. My heart and soul is still there but my life and career is still here. My folks are in the ground there in Portola along with the Grandparents and that’s probably where my headstone will be so my point being is I want to pursue a chunk of my artistic creations down there and hope to connect with you at some time to view and discuss being able to use some of your photographs for subjects of my paintings…You have spent alot of time seeing places at just the right time of day or year or a moment of beauty that will never be seen again and many of those moments you have captured inspire me to the Nth degree to paint. Don’t know how you feel about that but since you are probably one of many to leave this politically explosive social media site I wanted to stay in your loop somehow…

    1. Thanks Terri. You can contact me anytime you see a photo on this or my photo site that you want to use. Either comment on the photo/article to let me know, or use the Contact Me page to send me an email. I appreciate your kind words.

    1. Hi Barbara. You will be signed up for post notifications if you checked/clicked the box below the comment form to Notify of New Posts By Email. You’ll be sent a confirmation email with a link to verify. It’s pretty simple. Thanks.

  8. Deborah ajacobson

    Hey Jim-I understand! IVe been wondering about leaving Facebook too! Jim and I have so enjoyed our time with you-and hope we have become real friends. I’m wanting to be part of this blue g-see how it goes.

  9. I totally understand Jim…FB makes it very convenient for me to stay in touch with out-of-area family and friends so I will continue to hang out there – on a limited basis – AND I feel grateful that I continue to count myself as your friend. I am always happy to see you! (whether in virtual reality or otherwise). My best to you always, with gratitude.

  10. Barbara Schoepp

    Klaus and I were worried about you. Not to be found on FB, phone number “no longer in service”. Plumas Arts commission had no clue about your whereabouts. Gladly Klaus find a way to reach you. I would like to stay in touch with you – but how?

    1. Glad you found me, Barbara. You can stay connected by clicking in one or both of the “Notify me” boxes below the Add Comment button on any article on my site. You will have to leave a comment, including filling in your name and email address (I don’t share them with anyone). One will subscribe you to a notification email every time I post a new article. The other will subscribe you to a notification whenever someone else replies to the same article you commented on.

      I got rid of my landline telephone a while back. I only got junk calls on it anyway and the National Do Not Call List doesn’t work as well as it should. I use only a cell phone now.

  11. Klaus Herrfurth

    You already have done what I also should do – deleting the facebook account. I guess I’m faced to the same problems you see. – But Facebook has done its job. – Two old friends met again.

  12. Anita Lingerfelt

    Trying tonsuscribe to your blog, but the link won’t work! I appreciate your explanation of why you left Facebook. It makes a lot of sense. I have a lot of respect for you and your work, so I will try and keep up with you. God Bless you sir.

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